How does the DrinkCompare Calculator work?
Dr John Larsen, Drinkaware’s Director of Evidence and Impact, answers your questions.
Why did you create the DrinkCompare Calculator?
The DrinkCompare Calculator is part of our designed to help people make better choices about their drinking.
Right at the start of the project we asked our target audience, who drink at least 13 pints of beer each week, what would motivate them to reduce their drinking.
In response, they challenged us to create an easy-to-use way to show exactly how alcohol affects health, plus the benefits of cutting back.
This is what our DrinkCompare Calculator aims to do.
What evidence do you have?
We don’t want to lecture you about your drinking.
Our DrinkCompare tool is based on clear evidence and gives people the information they need to make up their own minds.
Our research shows that while people really enjoy their first drink, many don’t notice the extra drinks they have after that.
In fact, it’s these couple of extra drinks that can put your health at risk.
My results show that I drink more than most people in the UK – is that really true?
The truth is that drinking alcohol every week isn’t as common as you might think.
It may sound surprising, but over a quarter (27%) of men and four in ten (40%) women drink less than once a week.
This means, if you’re a man who drinks alcohol weekly, you’re already drinking more than a quarter of men in the UK.
Remember, however you compare, it’s safest to stick to the UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) low risk drinking guidelines.
This means, to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, it is safest not to drink more than 14 units (or around 6 pints of lager) a week on a regular basis.
How do you know how much other people drink?
The DrinkCompare Calculator compares your drinking habits to those of 2,294 UK adults aged 18-75.
The data comes from our 2014 Drinkaware Monitor Survey, which is representative of the UK population and includes people who don’t drink alcohol.
How do you work out the number of calories and units?
We gathered this information from alcohol manufacturers. You can find out how many units are in your drink by reading the side of the bottle, or asking at the bar.
Calories can often be found online.
How do you calculate my risk of dying from an alcohol-related disease?
Your risk factor is created using calculations that informed the UK Chief Medical Officers’ low risk drinking guidelines. Read the report and find out more about the alcohol risk calculations.
The guidelines recommend that both men and women are safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week.
If you drink that amount of alcohol, it’s best to spread your drinking over three or more days.
Regularly exceeding the guidelines could increase your chances of developing long-term health conditions, including cancer and heart disease.